It smells like cinnamon. (Actually, it tastes like cinnamon too.) It looks like cinnamon. Cinnamomum cassia even has cinnamon in its botanical name, and is known sometimes as ‘Chinese cinnamon’, or even ‘false cinnamon’. Both were among the most popular perfume ingredients of ancient times, referred to as far back as ancient Egyptian unguent recipes. (Although some scholars – and we’re really not qualified to argue – think that the cassia plant of old is inferior to the one still used today in teas, ointments and perfumery.) The twigs, buds and foliage of this 3-metre tree can be steam-distilled – but cassia is sometimes recreated synthetically, giving a potent and seriously spicy, almost earthy note that when handled with care lends itself especially well to Ambrées.
Smell cinnamomum cassia in: